Rear-end collisions account for a whopping 28 percent of all auto accidents. Drivers are often forced to make quick decisions or stop suddenly to avoid road hazards, and if the next driver in line is not paying attention, a rear-end accident can occur all too quickly.
If you or a loved one have been seriously injured in a rear-end collision, contact Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi today. Our skilled personal injury lawyers have spent more than 80 combined years fighting for the injured in New Jersey and New York, collecting more than $300 million in compensation along the way. Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi have the experience and commitment to see your claim through to the very end and hold the guilty party accountable for their actions. Call (201) 585-9111 or contact us online to speak with one of our experienced personal injury attorneys.
Causes of Rear-End Accidents
The vast majority of rear-end accidents are caused by driver negligence, in some form or another. Negligent activities that can lead to rear-end collisions include:
- Distracted driving, such as texting while driving
- Driving under the influence
- Reckless driving, such as following too close, an improper lane change, or failure to obey traffic signals
Other factors, such as driver fatigue or another collision, can certainly contribute to a rear-end accident. In the majority of rear-end accident cases, the driver in back is at fault for the accident (which is discussed further below).
A study by the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute found that most rear-end collisions take place in daylight hours when the car in front is at a stop. Approximately 76.5 percent of rear-end collisions occurred in daylight and 90 percent occurred on straight roads; therefore, the cause of most rear-end accidents must be driver inattention, distraction, and/or negligence.
Rear-End Accident Injuries
A study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that rear-end collisions account for 30 percent of all accident-related injuries and nearly one third of all property damage.
Some serious injuries appear right away after an accident. However, others can take several hours or even days to realize; for example, the effects of a concussion or whiplash may not be readily apparent. With this in mind, it is crucial to seek medical attention right away after an accident—regardless of whether or not you believe it is necessary. A doctor will be able to do a full workup and determine whether there are internal injuries or other less-apparent issues. Plus, seeking medical attention right away will greatly bolster your case if you decide to pursue a personal injury claim. Visiting the doctor right away shows that the injuries are serious, and it provides you with solid medical evidence from right after the crash.
Liability in Rear-End Collisions
It should come as no surprise that, in the lion’s share of rear-end collisions, the driver in the rear is liable. Basic traffic laws mandate that any driver has a responsibility to keep a safe distance from the car in front. In other words, you must be able to come to a safe stop if and when the vehicle in front of you slows down or stops. A rear-end collision indicates a failure to follow that rule of the road.
However, there are certain situations where it is more complicated. For example, say there are a line of cars stopped at a red light and a driver, who is distracted by his phone, fails to slow down in time and hits the last car, causing it to hit the car in front of it. In that case, both the middle driver and the front driver could have a case against the driver in the rear.
While the car in back is always presumed to be at fault, there are other factors that can affect liability in a rear-end accident. New Jersey operates under a comparative negligence system, meaning the overall damages you are eligible to win will be decreased by your percentage of fault in the incident. If the driver in front was somehow at fault (for example, by not having functioning brake lights or suffering a tire blowout in the middle of the road) then he or she will not be eligible to win the full amount of damages—and in some cases, may not be able to bring a claim at all.
Generally speaking, rear-end collisions are much simpler to dissect than other types of car accidents. The vehicle damage alone in a rear-end collision is usually enough to determine how the accident happened; if one vehicle’s back end is damaged and the other vehicle’s front end is damaged, it is clear who hit whom and who is at fault.
Contact Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi
Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi have proudly served the injured of New Jersey and New York since 1974. With more than 80 years’ worth of combined trial experience, we are prepared to fully investigate your claim and fight for your compensation. Our team of personal injury lawyers have achieved a number of significant verdicts and settlements for victims of all types of injuries, including serious car accidents. Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi have collected more than $300 million for clients throughout New Jersey and New York, both in and out of the courtroom.
Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi are here to help you recover your losses. If you or a loved one has suffered serious injury as a result of a rear-end collision, contact us today for a free consultation. Call (201) 585-9111 or contact us online to start on the road to recovery today.